– April 7, 2013
The five-string banjo that he played
throughout the night
Stands propped against the balustrade,
no one in sight.
At times I thought I halfway sensed
what music meant
To him. But not today. Silence,
like something pent
For years, wells up within this ring
of fretted trees,
While wind explores new fingerings
among the leaves.
All damask was that world, and you
Within its traceries. Who knew
that to confess
Our sheer adsorption there, our need
to have no depth
But move as shadows that succeed
without a breath
Or lasting shape – who thought that we
would vanish, quite
As morning ends the revelry
that outlasts night?
If you would step outside of time
and space, into
That empty realm where no sublime
awaits, to brew
A perfect cup of nothingness –
before you put
It to your lips, do not profess
that this is what
You always wanted. Better: say
it wanted you,
And waited for this special day
until you knew.
Gently, he folded back each thin
slice of her brain,
As though we might find catching in
Some faintly stirring wind – might deep
within that pool
Of silence still engage a sleep
beyond the rule
Of reason. “No,” he said, and laid
his scalpel there
Beside the slab. “This is mere shade,
not beauty bare.”
Initially it was not poems
I hoped to write,
But memories – of faces, homes,
that still seemed bright
Though unbelievably distant.
There is no way,
A voice replied. Discrete events
A star that once gave off a spark
transmutes to lead.
Your own life streaks into the dark.
Write poems instead.